Got out of Service back in '90. Came back in in June 2000. The power that be decided I had to go through MOS Transition training. Never mind I was trained to 40 Level but that's another story.
Anyway there are 15 some in the class with 4 SGT's. Me being one of them. The rest are made up of other ranks as the Brit's like to say with a smattering of AF or Navy types being trained up in the Big Green Machine way of doing things. And then there was Dang. Every Unit has one, if they don't they will soon get one or invent one. Dang is/was a lighting rod for Sergeants. Unshined boots, No haircut, No Shave. Not all at once, just something different each and every time. He wasn't even from my unit but somehow he became my burden to bear. He was a slick sleeve Private. That's way old school but basically the only thing lower then Dang was a Basic Recruit with no time in service and Dang was a retread with time on. Kids even graduate from basic with at least Mosquito Wings (PV2) or PFC (E3). Dang had nothing. Shows up one Weekend, Sneakers, No Boots. "Dang, Where the hell are your boots?" "Don't have any that fit me, Sergeant." OK, Skinny as a rail, six foot in bare feet and size 13 Clodhoppers. Christ on a Crutch, Kid. Alright, him fitted out with boots. Next Drill, Boots. NO Shine. "Dang, Why the hell aren't your boots shined?!" "No polish, SGT." Mumble, Mumble... OK, Got to supply, Get Kiwi, rags. Dang, My room 1900 tonight for polish party. But Sergeant, I was going to meet my Girlfriend tonight. "Dang, You'll meet Jesus if you're not there at 1900." And on and on and one. I actually used to look forward to see what the hell he'd do next.
The topper was when we had to go to 2 Week AT for final cert. 1St Army was going to be up to grade the unit as to how well they did compared to the AIT centers. Dang shows up with hair down to his collar and over his ears. "Dang, Get in the Truck." The other SGT asked "Where you taking him?" I guess they thought I was going to take him out and bury him in the impact area but too many people had already seen him. Him and another guy piled in the truck as we headed down to the PX. There was a Barber there who probably lost money on the outside so got hired by the Army. We walk in and sat down. Dang's turn came up and he climbed in the chair. Guy asks how do you want it? I told Him, "I'm paying for it. Just like mine. Skin on the side, just enough to part on top." Aw, Sarge." "Shut up, Dang." He lived, don't know how. We finished up, Everybody got their Certificates. Ran into Dang in Bosnia. He'd made PFC. Not sure how long he was going to keep it. Wasn't a bad kid. Just had to work to keep him up with everybody else.